(From the Apple dictionary) Virtuoso: genius, expert, master, past master, maestro, artist, prodigy, marvel, adept, professional, doyen, veteran; star, champion; informal hotshot, wizard, magician, pro, ace.
A virtuoso performance is an act that inspires through excellence.
Like a perfectly ripe and delicious strawberry, people at their peak fill us with joy and inspire us to excel.
Remember the climactic line from As Good as It Gets staring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt?
You make me want to be a better man.
Virtuoso performances can fuel our flames for achievement and excellence. Like a fine wine, we become the best expression of our unique characteristics and ambitions.
How much time do you spend in the company (in person or virtually) or in the presence of people at their peak? A virtuoso performance is a subjective thing. While I might be at the edge of my seat to see and hear Tori Amos, you might feel the same way about Yo Yo Ma or Randy Travis.
That which ignites us from within, expands us. There are virtuoso performances in all aspects of life.
- In meetings
- On the street
- In the movie theater
- On the telly
- In books and magazines
- In your family
- Within the offices of your competitors
I have often thought that the biggest impact of attending business conferences came not from practical learning, but from being able to see several virtuoso performances in a concentrated period of time.
Many of your favorite products represent virtuoso performances - in design, in usefulness, in manufacturing, in packaging, in marketing. The Moleskine is a nice example. So is this:
My third iPod. What a brilliant design and product and a perfect compliment to an exercise routine - I feel like I am in the presence of a virtuoso performance when I use it - Really! My former motorcycle, the BMW1200C, was a virtuoso performance, so much so it was featured in the Guggenheim Museum and a James Bond Movie. Some things or acts are special to such a degree that they expand our sense of what it means to live fully. I wrote about seeing David Benoit shake his piano about a year ago - this was another example of a virtuoso performance and that one left me thinking and pumped up for a long time.
Savoring a small piece of hand crafted cheese can be much more satisfying and enjoyable than eating a pound of processed cheese. Watching talented street performers can offer a great source of ideas, focus, and inspiration. Watching a passionate volunteer make an impact in the community can change our lives (as can BEING that person).
The more we seek out an notice virtuoso performances, the more they will impact us. Take time to appreciate people, nature, and the things people produce when they are at their peak. Let the beauty and elegance of the performance expand your capacity and drive to produce at your peak.
Notice virtuoso performances every day.
And notice when you tend to give virtuoso performances.